Return of a Controversial Blog

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 5th, 2016, 8:13 pm

It must be the tricks then that everyone is getting excited about. Which one should I investigate? Is there a short description of one around? I don't think I have the patience or attention span to read a long one. Or is there a video of someone, anyone doing said trick?

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 5th, 2016, 8:26 pm

that's just it. the bizarre movement was largely a literary movement. It was an exploration of magic and meaning and intentions and results and possibilities. it sought to mine new emotional responses beyond laughter and applause.

while a handful of performers may have managed to present bizarre magic successfully, the impact of the movement transcended the efficacy and practicality of the 'tricks' per se

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 5th, 2016, 8:44 pm

Richard,

It was a polite suggestion, but this is your rodeo.


Brad,

It certainly is a refreshing take on performing magic, his enthusiasm and passion are also fun to read. I may not be as well read as some, but his ideas are new to me.


Andy's language is vulgar and not to everyone's taste and while it would be fair to criticize that I think if thats the only thing someone has to say then they don't really add to the conversation. We understand the language is vulgar, we can move past that now.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 5th, 2016, 8:51 pm

andy's ideas are new - but they are essentially addressing the same issues raised by the bizzarists but with a more modern tone and themes. I make this comparison not to take anything away from Andy, only to place him rightfully into a lineage of thinkers and thoughts. Also, like the bizzarists Andy is working with a literary tradition in his case is see influence from the world of comedy and improv.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jackpot » September 5th, 2016, 9:17 pm

"Andy's language is vulgar and not to everyone's taste and while it would be fair to criticize that I think if thats the only thing someone has to say then they don't really add to the conversation. We understand the language is vulgar, we can move past that now."

I agree with filtering out and ignoring the vulgar language. This is not a closed forum so I also filter out and ignore some remarks. In my opinion commenting on some remarks does not add to the conversation.

We may disagree, but if we did not all care deeply for magic none of us would have met on this forum.
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jack Shalom » September 5th, 2016, 9:49 pm

Jackpot wrote:"A new genre of magic" is over stating Andy's contributions. A sub category of Bizarre Magic sounds right.

For example "The Greatest Trick You Should Never Do" is just The Bill in a Lemon trick presented in a way that Jarrow and others would have never thought of or considered performing.


Jackpot


Hmm...really not feeling the Bizarre Magic connection to Andy. He's quite far from that IMO.

I think his stuff is more related to what Gerald Deutsch is doing. That is, being around friends in everyday settings, but providing extraordinary experiences for them that are not necessarily about the will of the performer.

I'm not understanding this insistence that what Andy posits must be revolutionary and never before expounded. I think there are some facets of presentation that Andy explores that are in fact unique. But even if one doesn't think that's the case, there's certainly gallons of ink and reams of paper devoted to the millionth iteration of "Triumph" every week, and no one complains; so it doesn't hurt instead to spend some time exploring how to present magic in a way that is congruent with the rest of one's relationships.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 5th, 2016, 9:52 pm

Nobody really seems overly curious as to Andy's real identity (and Andy is not his name).
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Joe Mckay » September 5th, 2016, 10:11 pm

Andy has said the reason he wants to remain anonymous is because he performs a lot for his circle of friends. Over the years he has put a lot of effort into coming up with special one-off magical performances for those he knows. And as such - he would rather not have them stumbling across a blog revealing all of the details behind his approach to magic. Or the fact that he is now a published author of magic.

He feels that would ruin the charm and intrigue he has built up with his performances. And would ruin what he has spent years building in his social circle.

Other than that - I have no doubt his identity is known to a few people in magic since he is probably approached a lot to do creative work by some of the top performers in magic.

I am perfectly happy to respect his wishes as regards his identity. Not that I know his name. That said - it would be nice to have a name to hang on to just so I could keep track of his future output in magic. In case his blog ever goes quiet again like it last time (he took a break for ten years).

It is like having a favourite band and not knowing their name!

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 5th, 2016, 10:28 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Nobody really seems overly curious as to Andy's real identity (and Andy is not his name).


I am certainly curious to know who he is.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 5th, 2016, 10:32 pm

Mac Stone wrote:

Andy's language is vulgar and not to everyone's taste and while it would be fair to criticize that I think if thats the only thing someone has to say then they don't really add to the conversation. We understand the language is vulgar, we can move past that now.


I am NOT moving past it. I think it is quite disgraceful and dents his credibility. And it is NOT the only thing I have to say. I have already stated that his views on presentation are misguided codswallop and what is more I have explained WHY. So I did add to the conversation. So there. Na, na, na, nanana.............................!

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jackpot » September 5th, 2016, 11:10 pm

to Jack Shalom:

My understanding is that Mr. Deutsch's Perverse Magic is magic that happens by itself against the will of the magician. The magician is an ordinary person caught up in the moment with everyone else. He is equal to and not better than members of his audience. It's like a sucker trick that surprises the magician instead of being a "gotcha" for the audience. While some of the effects from The Jerx do this, most happen to other people. Andy is sharing something that he knows will happen, not something that happens to or in spite of him. Andy is a guide while Mr. Deutsch is a fellow traveler.

Mr. Deutsch and Andy are both trying to provide extraordinary experiences for their audiences. That is something we should all be striving to accomplish.

Some feel Andy's posts are revolutionary. Although I disagree, I do not feel that they need to be revolutionary to help his readers improve as performers.

Some of the presentations Andy explores are unique. If they were not than someone would already be doing them.

"... It doesn't hurt instead to spend some time exploring how to present magic in a way that is congruent with the rest of one's relationships." Not only does it not hurt, but it's healthy.

to Richard Kaufman:

I think he's Erdnase. That's why he's been bribing people to destroy their copies of The Expert at the Card Table to keep his identity safe.
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jack Shalom » September 6th, 2016, 6:13 am

Jackpot wrote:to Jack Shalom:
Andy is a guide while Mr. Deutsch is a fellow traveler.

Mr. Deutsch and Andy are both trying to provide extraordinary experiences for their audiences. That is something we should all be striving to accomplish.


Fair enough. Something about a preference for not putting a proscenium around the performance? I'm reminded, too, of Berglas in a car telling someone to open the glove compartment and name a card and number, or banging on the wall to turn the lights on and off. The setting is not a theater or even a living room set up with chairs facing an elevated table, but everyday life where anomalous things happen. "I was over at Andy's house today and the craziest thing happened..."

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 6th, 2016, 9:11 am

I swear that I am the only magician who has ever seen David banging the wall to put the light on and off. I first saw him do it over 55 years ago and nobody has mentioned it since until Jack just now. I won't tell you whose wall he hit otherwise that could start a whole new unwelcome conversation.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 10:03 am

Brad,

I think your caparison with Bizzarists is very interesting. My only experience with Bizarre Magic has been watching a few Eugene Burger performances, but I whole heartedly agree that Andy is trying to explore new emotional responses to magic. I hope that Andy will inspire a new generation of young magicians to think differently, we live in a new world dominated by our connection technology, the 24/7 news cycle, and social media. Old ideas of performing magic are antiquated, we need to strive to look toward the future and find new ways of engaging with audiences.


Jack,

I may not be enough of a historian to say wether or not Andy is revolutionary, but the ideas he talks about (I will stop referring to them as his for the sake of argument) are new to me, and I believe probably new to a majority of his readership who I imagine must be relatively young or new to magic.


Richard,

Magic is full of mysteries...


Eliminating the will of the magician is, I believe, Andy's solution to the Seinfeld problem.

"Here's a coin, now it's gone. I'm a jerk."

If the disappearance of the coin had nothing to do with the will of the magician then he can't be a jerk.

I think it's important that we properly define some of the terms we're using. Audience-centric does not merely mean a performance thats engaging and entertaining for an audience, it is the antonym of magician-centric, which Andy defines as the sort of performance that says, "Look how amazing I am." Therefore audience-centric means magic without a magician.

I think we also have to adjust our definition of audience as well, remember that in the context these performances Andy is 'performing' for close personal friends, occasionally for casual acquaintances, and sometimes for people he's meeting for the first time. For him, or anyone in his position, to suddenly claim psychic powers would be preposterous.

Andy believes it is better instead to claim nothing at all or to claim something so outrageously preposterous that he is obviously being facetious. This would play as lighthearted fun with a friend rather than trying to insult their intelligence by insinuating you have secretly had psychic powers you have only just decided to reveal now.

Keep in mind that Andy's 'audience' does not consist of other magicians, these are normal people with no real interest in magic, to force your interests on your friends is a sure fire way to loose friends. Andy compares it to having a friend who is a talented singer, maybe not a professional singer, certainly not a famous one. You don't have any particular interest in your friends singing ability but you enjoy the presence of their company, hence you are friends. But this friend in particular has a habitat of busting out in song at a whim, regardless of the context of the situation. It may be cute the first time but is sure to grow irritating over time as it simply reads as showing off or desperately seeking attention and approval.

Imagine instead you are with your amazing talented singing friend at an Irish tavern, you may be unaware of their talents or have some idea based on things you've heard in passing. From the back of the tavern an old man starts softly singing an old Irish hymn, soon the entire tavern is singing along, suddenly your friend gets up on top a table and starts LEADING the entire tavern to the amusement and amazement of everyone, including yourself.

Placing the performance in the proper context changes the conversation from, 'I'm a jerk' to 'something amazing just happened.'

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Joe Mckay » September 6th, 2016, 10:30 am

The two approaches to informal close-up magic I like are these.

First the one that Andy details on his blog. And that is an approach I am still grappling with since it throws up so many new ideas for me.

And the other is one advocated by Paul Harris in more recent years. He promotes the idea of just doing a single trick for a friend. And passing it off as no more important than if you folded some paper into origami for him to keep.

This is a very relaxed approach. And by not overselling the experience it can make for a special moment. It is also easy to get into. If somebody asks about your interests you mention that you enjoy inventing and performing magic. I always use the word inventing even though I don't invent much myself since it is much more intriguing than simply somebody who performs magic.

My interest in magic came up recently with a colleague at work. And he asked me about my favourite trick in magic. I then spent ten minutes explaining to him how revolutionary the 'Reformation' was when it was invented. And how it was a trick that was impossible to expose since instead of relying on one simple method or principle - it was made up of many ugly little conceits. And that ugliness actually made it more fooling. Since there is no one secret to the trick.

Talking to a layperson like you are talking to a magician is actually an interesting experience for them. You may not have an interest in being a lawyer - but if you met a lawyer and he spent 30 mins telling you about the interesting criminals he has met over the years and the best way to rob a bank, it would be pretty fascinating.

Anyway - such talk always gets a response about wanting to see a magic trick. And you can then go ahead and do so before moving the conversation on to something else. It may not seem the "proper" way of presenting magic. But for most people this casual approach works well. There is something cool about being able to do something amazing and then being able to quickly move on to something else. The trick rests nicely in the middle of a casual interaction with a friend. A lot like when you show a fellow magician a trick at a magic convention or during a session.

Having a friend think you know some cool stuff about magic is a better frame for a relationship than suddenly trying to switch to "magician" mode and treating him like a spectator. The only way to impress people is to be seen not trying to show off. Trying too hard to amaze a friend quickly downgrades you from cool friend to annoying jerk who is using magic as a substitute for their personality.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 11:27 am

Having a friend think you know some cool stuff about magic is a better frame for a relationship than suddenly trying to switch to "magician" mode and treating him like a spectator. The only way to impress people is to be seen not trying to show off. Trying too hard to amaze a friend quickly downgrades you from cool friend to annoying jerk who is using magic as a substitute for their personality.


Joe,

I think that's very well stated, although I would make one small change. I don't think our goal should be to 'impress' our friends, rather to avoid irritating them. We're already friends, theres no need to impress one another but rather reaffirm why we are friends in the first place.

You may be meeting someone for the first time and it might seem like a good idea to try to impress them, but still I feel its better to show them you are not irritating. If you're dealing with a potential client that obviously changes to dynamic of the interaction.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 6th, 2016, 11:39 am

Jack, perhaps then you only have a cursory understanding of the bizzarists and their work.

the bizarre movement began when a group of magician in England became dissatisfied with the sameness of how magic was being performed and what that sameness led people to think about magic as an art. In England at that time you were either one of the charming fellows who did tricks on tv or you were a children's performer. these men felt that magic could be more than that and begin exploring alternative approaches with the goal of producing responses deeper than diversion and laughter.

this is exactly what Andy has done. While the bizarists took one specific path in their exploration (that of horror especially with lovcraftian overtones) ultimate what they were doing was exploring the use of symbolism in magic and how this related to context and expectations. it laid the bedrock for continued work in this field by people such as Eugene burger (who, by the way, does not usually identify with the bizarre magic movement per se - I say this having recruited him to participate in bizarre themed events including the first bizarre magic event ever held at a mainstream magic convention), mystery school (which Paul Harris attended prior to his exploration of moments of astinishment etc), and the entire crop of writers who now address artistic concerns in their writings. This is not to say that others had not addressed these issues before the bizarists (maskelyne and devants our magic comes to mind) only that the bizarre magic movement was a definite precursor to that work that Andy is doing - albeit with a different approach and tone.

but read the old invocations, look at the stories of the 'tricks' "it was a dark and stormy night. Janet and her friends found themselves in the Wizards loft. After a few drinks the wizard asked an unusual question. . . "

Andy is exploring the same issues using the same means - creating and understanding who is there, where they are, and what they care about.

again, this isn't to take anything away from Andy at all. The bizarists had limited success because rather than looking at the situation from a real time/real world perspective they harkened back to Victorian dark fantasy. Andy's explorations are valid and valuable. Just as was the bizarists.

but to call it a 'new genre' is not to understand that which has come before - or at least to not understand it deeply.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 6th, 2016, 11:48 am

If you are REALLY good at close up impromptu magic your friends, far from being reluctant to watch you, won't allow you to stop. They will want more and more and more. Your problem will be to figure out how to stop so you can save some material for next time. I have never subscribed to the silly notion that I have heard espoused over the years that you should do one trick only and leave it at that on the theory that it leaves a more profound impact. If you follow that silliness you will end up never performing at all. The reason that this procedure seems to go over so well is that with the average magician the audience is greatly relieved that you are not going to do any more and bore them further. However, if you are a REALLY good performer your friends will want you to do something every time they see you and not only that when they introduce you to new people they will insist you show them something.

You need a fairly large repertoire for this kind of thing but that doesn't take long to acquire if you are an amateur magician since all you do is chatter about tricks all day instead of actually doing them. The time spent in doing this can be spent in learning new material and better ways to present such material.

Oddly enough professional magicians don't need nearly as much material as amateur magicians do. Indeed some pros can go through their entire career with no more than half a dozen tricks or so.

I understand the world of the amateur since I used to be one. And a very good one if I may say so. And naturally I do.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 12:21 pm

Brad,

You make a valid argument.

If I may make a comparison to the history of film the French New Wave was not necessarily a new genre of movies, rather it was a new approach. Each film existed in its own genre but dressed in a style none had seen before.

The Jerx would then be the New Wave of Bizarre Magic.

Hopefully, as the French New Wave did, The Jerx will inspire a new generation to think differently and continue to push our art forward.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 6th, 2016, 12:39 pm

I don't think we should necessarily consider bizarre magic as the source for taking the name. Symbolic magic may be a better term - magic that transcends the mere trick.

I can understand how my comparison to bizarre magic might be troublesome because that which we have come to think of as bizarre magic is of such a consistent and persistent kind.

ultimately bizarre magic, Andy, and others are exploring what magic means as an art - how our choices impact the audience. Most of what passes (i.e. is sold) as magic explores how difference choices impact the magician. most magic performed and sold today privledges the magicians pleasure over that of any human who might be in tne same room should it ever be performed.

where the bizarists turned to gothic literature for their inspiration ( Mcbride and the mystery school guys were inspired by ceremonial magic and 'real magic' traditions) Andy seems to have turned to the world of comedy and improv for his inspiration/motivation.

all of these are different ways of looking at the same problems. to me it's these problems being addressed that are what define the genre, not the specific answers derived.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Roger M. » September 6th, 2016, 1:37 pm

Despite the now somewhat tired conversation regarding the vulgarity in "Andy's" blog, what can't be denied is that the blog has inspired what is, to my eyes, some of the most intelligent discussion to take place on the Genii Forum in quite a while.

... which seems, after all - to be the point of "Andy's" blog - inspiring intelligent discussion and fresh thinking about the craft of magic.

As to "Andy's" identity, as an amateur, it would seem to be irrelevant would it not?
Beyond simple curiosity, I'm not sure knowing his real name, or what he did for a living would change the meaning of anything he has written to date on his blog.

And hey... there's no getting away from the fact that with his current, and previous blog - he's undoubtedly the most humorous guy writing about magic today. Lots of magic journalists (and magicians) think they're funny - but really they're not.

"Andy" writes like 90+% of the male population actually speak with each other, which is extremely refreshing in and of itself!

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 6th, 2016, 2:07 pm

in my mind the 'vulgarity' is functionally the same as the attempt to scare ones audience. it is the quest to convey feelingful response. shock at 'dirty words' and the startle from hearing 'boo' are superficial means to that end.

both approaches tried to get magicians to break free from a limited approach to their magic. I am sure Mark will disagree with me, but I feel that magic suffers when we willfully limit what is permitted based solely on taste and tradition.

Andy is encouraging people to imagine possibilities not limited by either. We can argue whether or not that leads to magic that people will respond to, but that isn't what interests me. taste is subjective. I appreciate more choices rather than fewer, more directions to explore rather than a narrow few that are allowed. I may not end up spending a lot of time on those new paths, but I have no doubt that they will lead to interesting work - if not now, later.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 6th, 2016, 2:14 pm

Mac Stone wrote:...If I may make a comparison to the history of film the French New Wave was not necessarily a new genre of movies, rather it was a new approach. Each film existed in its own genre but dressed in a style none had seen before...


...and for most folks it's about like that moment in The Odd Couple TV episode where Felix suggests "Aristophanes" to Oscar as a clue for the word 'birds'.

The trick is to make the customer feel clever.
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 2:23 pm

Roger M. wrote:Despite the now somewhat tired conversation regarding the vulgarity in "Andy's" blog, what can't be denied is that the blog has inspired what is, to my eyes, some of the most intelligent discussion to take place on the Genii Forum in quite a while.

... which seems, after all - to be the point of "Andy's" blog - inspiring intelligent discussion and fresh thinking about the craft of magic.


Amen.


Brad,

Perhaps for the sake of argument we should come up with our own vocabulary so as not to be confused by semantics.

Let's say what was formerly referred to as Bizarre Magic we instead call Symbolic Magic as you suggested.

Let's also say that Symbolic Magic is a style of magic that encompasses many genres i.e. The Gothic, The Ceremonial, The Comedic, even The Scientific. I recall Dan Trometer having several presentations of magic based on particle physics.

Maybe it would be better to say Symbolic Magic is a genre comprised of different styles, I will defer to you on this.

most magic performed and sold today privledges the magicians pleasure over that of any human who might be in tne same room should it ever be performed.


This is indeed Andy's, and I would assume Symbolic Magicians as a whole, main argument.

I for one find Andy's solution to the problem to be refreshing in much the same way I felt after watching Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless for the first time. I think Andy's style will resonate with a lot of the youth in magic.

Hopefully they wont be so bold as to copy him exactly but at the very least think about their magic differently in the way the Gothic style of Symbolic Magic did so many years before.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 6th, 2016, 2:41 pm

Mac Stone wrote:...the same way I felt after watching Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless for the first time...


Again, that self centered, entitled, privileged view that haunts the magic shop. Unless you have some novel technology to share that inner experience... (which would likely be dangerous)... flying colors of a misguided mockery of education training the ignorant to confuse the words deceive and fool.

http://www.mythandmore.com/the-heros-jo ... nitiation/ A child cannot initiate another child into adulthood within a society. Okay, after you've passed from child to adult in role... what to offer others? And in what guise?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 3:41 pm

Again, that self centered, entitled, privileged view that haunts the magic shop.


I like to think of it as being cultured and having interests outside of magic, but to each his own. We are discussing something we would like to consider an art, I think it only makes sense to compare it to other arts as well. In my case I am intimately familiar with the cinematic arts. Apparently, however, that is being self-centered, entitled, and privileged, how wrong of me to assume otherwise.

If you have a hard time understanding the references I am using I would suggest you google them like I did with you obscure reference to a single scene of a single episode of an outdated television series I now assume was an attempt to insult me.

You don't need to familiar with the specific references I'm pointing to in order to understand the point I'm trying to make. I'm comparing Andy's blog to the French New Wave because they are both a type of radical new style that did not exist before. Breathless is an iconic example of the French New Wave and was my introduction to that style of cinema, I'm comparing my experience of reading Andy's blog with watching that film.

Surely you must have some experience from your life that introduced you to a concept you had never seen before, or maybe not as that would be self-centered, entitled, and privileged.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 6th, 2016, 4:00 pm

what part of andy's 'style' did not exist before. exactly?

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 6th, 2016, 4:21 pm

Mac Stone wrote:...obscure reference to a single scene of a single episode of an outdated television series I now assume was an attempt to insult me...


Trading a goodnatured, show-stopping, easily available comic moment for an unfortunate special pleading.

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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 6th, 2016, 4:51 pm

ROGER M. WROTE: "Despite the now somewhat tired conversation regarding the vulgarity in "Andy's" blog, what can't be denied is that the blog has inspired what is, to my eyes, some of the most intelligent discussion to take place on the Genii Forum in quite a while."

Excellent observation, and yes, the discussion is deep, thought-provoking and quite refreshing. I hope there is more of the same to come...

For a long time, I have contemplated the issue of magic being "magician-centric," and more and more I am finding that I have been tailoring my performances to be "audience-centric." For example, Spectator cutting to the Aces, Chad Long's Shuffle Lesson, David Solomon's The Tens, of course OOTW, and in my version of 10 Card Poker Deal, the spectator always wins etc.

I have also been focusing on shifting the psychological focus of what the effect is or will be in order to increase the scenarios in which the spectator(s) look (and feel) good. For example, instead of showing off my mind-reading prowess, the spectator's powers of telepathy (e.g. conveying the identity of the card, the number, or whatever) may be showcased. As another example, instead of me changing the card the spectator is holding in his/her hand into the selection, the set-up and plot might be a test of the spectator's "magical powers," in which he/she is able to accomplish a powerful magical feat. This approach is also congruent with Vernon's concept of the emotional hook.

I also find that "story" tricks (e.g. The Twins, Magician Versus Gambler etc.) tend to be audience, as opposed to magician, centered; they are always very well received and greatly ameliorate the potential problem of what could otherwise be perceived as magician showing off.

Mac Stone
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 5:09 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:what part of andy's 'style' did not exist before. exactly?


Let's bear in mind I am not claiming to be an expert or an authority on magic history, I'm here for a stimulating conversation on magic.


My point earlier in referencing the French New Wave was to try to clarify the issue of defining genres that we had earlier. Illustrating that there are different styles one can use within a given genre.

The French New Wave is characterized by its rebellious attitude that challenged the conventions of filmmaking at the time.

I feel The Jerx is characterized by its rebellious attitude that challenges current conventions of presenting magic.

Brad, you have pointed out that The Jerx's unconventional approach to magic is not all that unconventional, comparing it to Symbolic Magic as defined earlier.

However, you cannot dispute that The Jerx has rebellious attitude and that is where I draw my comparison in calling The Jerx the French New Wave of Symbolic Magic.

Of course there have been other performers with a rebellious attitude that challenged conventions of performing magic at the time, Penn & Teller come to mind.

Just as they influenced a wave of new magicians I believe The Jerx will as well.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 6th, 2016, 6:02 pm

my issue was with the specific claim that Andy has founded a new genre of magic. As someone who is very interested in the history and theory (and history of theory) of our art, claims like that interest me. I appreciate the chance to explore it.

and yes, what you say about his blog is true and perhaps he will have an influence but my general cynacism prevents me from believing it will be wide spread. most people who identify as magicians never perform. they are merely consumers of magic at a level slightly (no pun intended) Beyond that of a 'layperson'. (not that there is anything wrong with that. magic is a house with many rooms).

I personally feel that (one of) andy's most important contributions is reminding magicians what entertainment in tne modern world tends to look like and how what we do compares to those expectations. I think this is in part why some magicians find what he offers so shocking. I recall one recently deceased magician who once proclaimed that anything they couldn't air on tne red Skelton show just wasn't entertainment.

performer
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 6th, 2016, 6:23 pm

All I can tell you is that from the theoretical stuff I have read on his blog he knows as much about "entertainment" as I do about the care and breeding of Japanese Butterflies. I have utterly no idea why he is so admired when it is patently obvious to me that it is the blind leading the blind.

Still perhaps it is the tricks that you are all getting excited about. Maybe he is another creative genius like Annemann or Osterlind for all I know. I do hope this is the case since his theories about presenting magic are the biggest load of tosh on the subject I have ever read.

I shall reserve judgement until I see one of these alleged miracles. Perhaps that is where his redemption lies.

performer
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 6th, 2016, 7:58 pm

OK. Here is his advice on handling hecklers. I am not sure if he is serious or not. If he is then he requires psychiatric treatment. And if people here endorse this approach then THEY require psychiatric treatment.

A lot of people get it wrong when describing how to handle hecklers in a close up impromptu situation. Even Darwin Ortiz in his otherwise excellent book, Strong Magic, describes a faulty approach to the subject. If you have a bit of cunning about you it is possible and even likely that you can turn a heckler into your biggest fan and best booster. Here is Andy's approach to the subject. I have reason to believe the aforementioned result will not be achieved if you are daft enough to do this.

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2016/8/17/h ... e-jerx-way

MagicbyAlfred
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Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 6th, 2016, 8:05 pm

Although I have been performing most of my routines for many years, I still consider them all works in progress - adding, deleting, modifying, mainly in accordance with spectator reactions and comments (sometimes they inadvertently give you the best lines). Like the Buddhist master said when he was asked how he had carved that beautiful elephant, he responded: "I just carved away all that was not elephant." (*Pause here, to take in and gasp at the profundity).

As far as writers, whether it's a book, an article or, as in this case, a blog, even if I don't necessarily agree with what is written or approve of the writer's style, I like anything that challenges me to reevaluate my paradigm in the way I present magic, and that might be a catalyst for helping me get a better reaction. Darwin Ortiz's book, Strong Magic, comes to mind as one example of a work that helped to revolutionize my thinking in regard to presentation and heightening responses. Great reactions are not only gratifying on an egotistical level, but they equal more work - and that's a good thing to my way of thinking. 

Mac Stone
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Mac Stone » September 6th, 2016, 8:17 pm

performer wrote:OK. Here is his advice on handling hecklers. I am not sure if he is serious or not. If he is then he requires psychiatric treatment. And if people here endorse this approach then THEY require psychiatric treatment.


He is not serious. This is a joke. He is obviously being facetious.

performer
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby performer » September 6th, 2016, 8:29 pm

Mac Stone wrote:
performer wrote:OK. Here is his advice on handling hecklers. I am not sure if he is serious or not. If he is then he requires psychiatric treatment. And if people here endorse this approach then THEY require psychiatric treatment.


He is not serious. This is a joke. He is obviously being facetious.


Jolly good. In that case I hope he is being equally facetious concerning all the other bad advice he is giving concerning presentational matters.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Bill Mullins » September 7th, 2016, 3:17 pm

Brad Henderson wrote: As someone who is very interested in the history and theory (and history of theory) of our art, claims like that interest me.

yeah, but what about a theory of history?

Brad Henderson
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Brad Henderson » September 7th, 2016, 5:09 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote: As someone who is very interested in the history and theory (and history of theory) of our art, claims like that interest me.

yeah, but what about a theory of history?


I had that, but cut it for time.

MagicbyAlfred
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Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Santa Rosa, California

Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 7th, 2016, 8:37 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote: As someone who is very interested in the history and theory (and history of theory) of our art, claims like that interest me.

yeah, but what about a theory of history?


I had that, but cut it for time.


CLEVER!

Richard Stokes
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Re: Return of a Controversial Blog

Postby Richard Stokes » September 8th, 2016, 8:51 am

How I long for a Postnarrativist Philosophy of Historiography...


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